Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Notes on a Couple of Movies
This past week I attended a session of "Talking Pictures," a program in which well-known creative-types introduce a favorite film and lead a post-screening discussion. Artist Dale Chihuly introduced one of his favorite films in an archival presentation of Lonely are the Brave. This 1962 film about a cowboy whose world is has been encroached upon by modern society was a delightful discovery. It stars Kirk Douglas, Walter Matthau, and Gena Rowlands, and is Douglas's personal career favorite.
The following night was set aside for the French film, OSS 117: Nest of Spies. Although few on this side of the pond know much about the exploits of the Bond-esque Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, the character has been thrilling and amusing audiences in France since 1956 in both print and on film. In this comedy/adventure set in 1955, Hubert is assigned a mission to Cairo to protect the Suez Canal and to restore peace to the Middle East. The production is fist rate, well-produced and very funny. It plays like an odd combination of espionage thriller, satire and farce.